June 25th, 2011
I haven’t written a blog in a while. That is because I have been off the mats with an injury and did not wish to bore anyone silly enough to be reading my blogs with tales of gluttony and boredom. I am now mostly healed from an unusual shoulder separation, and have been back on the mats a few times on the last few weeks. I am thinking next week will be my return to 3 training sessions a week. (Tues,Thurs, and Sat)
Missing out on training can really be depressing, but it can also be a little bit liberating. It was nice to come home from work and know that I was finally able to rest. But after a few weeks, and any jiu jitsu practitioners will understand this, you start to get an itch. You want to choke something, and find yourself practicing far-side armbars on your poor, uninterested pooch friend. (Sorry Telly!)
There are good things though, I fell in love with the combination of Barq’s rootbeer and Blue Bell “Banana Pudding” Ice Cream.. Oh man…it’s like a baby angel pooped in your mouth. Seriously, it is amazing.
Anyway, on to the actual training….
The first few sessions back have been real eye openers. I am able to see people advancing far ahead while I wallow in a plateau of grappling ability. I do not think that I am much better, as a whole, than I was a year ago. And this is mostly likely due to having inordinate amounts of downtime, some were injury-induced and some were simple neglect/laziness. I am still pretty much playing the same game. I am a top-player for sure, and just about everything I do is in an effort to gain that top position. While in guard, I prefer to use a closed guard or butterfly. I use the closed guard to rest, gain control, threaten with submissions (ones that I rarely intend to finish) to set up the sweep. And same with buttefly, which by design is a sweeping style of guard. (Hook sweeps rule.)
But the last few sessions I have been really working weak positions, I have been throwing myself into turtle or side control and working out of it. Something I had thought about many times but could never allow myself to do when I was a little younger in my years and training. I have started to develop decent defenses to attack from this position, and have been able to finish and sweep with some Sakuraba kimuras from turtle..and was feeling pretty confident in my turtle/defensive game….
That is…until I ran into Draculino and Wolverine on my last training session…back to back. Oh jeez…it was murder. To be expected from World Champions against a lowly blue belt. However, the beating was so emphatic, that if my grandma had somehow happened by to see it, she would’ve gotten pretty darn perturbed.
No, but seriously, they killed me. And they knew I was exhausted and kept on me…I knew what it was. A nice welcome back, and a deserved butt-kicking for being such a lazy and undedicated student. Wolverine attached with loop chokes and triangles galore, if he missed one, if was because my mat seizures concerned him enough to go easy on me. After tapping the mat about 20 times, I was paired with Draculino himself.
I felt pretty confident that I was about to be killed when he smiled at me maniacally and said, “Oh Apacheeeeeeee, How long it has been since I had my hands on this guys neck!” I chuckled nervously, knowing that he was kidding, but only partly.
I tried hook-sweeps…I tried chokes…I tried distractions (clap your hands loud and point, then flying triangle)…I tried crying and rocking in the fetal position..and nothing worked. Then I had a novel idea…my new game!
I have been doing good against lots of guys with my new-found turtle sweeps and kimura! Here goes! And Draculino took my back…and choked me. Alright, maybe I was too slow, or didn’t have the right mechanics…and gotcha! Nope…choked again. Alright, one last try, I’ll surprise him…make him think I am going here and ha!…choked….same choke.
Damn you Barq’s and Blue Bell! You’ve let me down! I am amazed to find that you did not help me on the mats one bit…I thought surely your delightful foamy goodness would give me some kind of edge.
Besides getting assaulted (tastefully), by Wolverine and Draculino. I managed to roll a little better than expected, and I don’t really base this on how many guys I submit, I base it off of what positions I discover, what I can invent on the fly, how many bad positions I can escape, and how well I can hold control positions. Tapping guys is literally my last concern nowadays, and I am sure I went for only a few submissions out of 5 or 6 rolls. I want to be the guy that has a top game so heavy, that guys have to make sure they went to the bathroom before they roll with me. I am not even remotely close to this BTW, I am just expressing some wishful thinking.
Oh and I got kneed in the mouth, and someone farted on my ear while they were attempting an omaplata on me…that was interesting. I actually considered tapping to that. 🙂
Anyway, I’ll cut the rambling for now. Happy Training!